Countdown 'feud' escalates as Anne Robinson 'turns off Rachel Riley's microphone'


Countdown’s Anne Robinson reportedly turned off her co-star Rachel Riley’s microphone on set after becoming irritated by the host’s small talk. 

It comes after it was reported last week that new host Anne, 77, is at loggerheads with maths whizz Rachel, 35, and lexicographer Susie Dent, 56, with an uncomfortable atmosphere’ erupting since she took on the role. 

Staff at Media City studios in Salford claim that off-camera, there’s tension over Anne’s ‘rather grand ways’, which have earned her the nickname ‘Queen Anne’. 

Shock: Anne Robinson reportedly turned off Rachel Riley's microphone before filming an episode of Countdown after becoming irritated by the host's small talk (Rachel Riley, Anne Robinson, Susie Dent L-R)

Shock: Anne Robinson reportedly turned off Rachel Riley’s microphone before filming an episode of Countdown after becoming irritated by the host’s small talk (Rachel Riley, Anne Robinson, Susie Dent L-R)

According to The Sun, Anne became fed up of listening to Rachel chatting to contestants ahead of going on air, turning up at the last minute and being on her phone too much.

Rachel then reportedly told crew that she ‘completely disagreed’ with being silenced after the the incident.  

A source told the publication: ‘It’s safe to say there’s no love lost. Anne is famously known for two things: her dislike of noise and time-keeping. She’ll tolerate neither.

‘Anne also has tinnitus and cannot bear excess sound. Rachel, with her big heels and even bigger personality, can be quite loud on set. Rachel used to chat to contestants before every show, and Anne found it hugely distracting.

Awkward: It comes after it reported last week that new host Anne, 77, is at loggerheads with maths whizz Rachel , 35, and lexicographer Susie Dent, 56, with an uncomfortable atmosphere' erupting since she took on the role

Awkward: It comes after it reported last week that new host Anne, 77, is at loggerheads with maths whizz Rachel , 35, and lexicographer Susie Dent, 56, with an uncomfortable atmosphere’ erupting since she took on the role 

‘She felt she couldn’t do her job properly, or bond with the contestants to help them to relax, before the cameras started rolling.

‘The tension was palpable. Anne finds the whole thing hilarious.’  

Representatives for Anne, Rachel and Channel 4 have been contacted for a comment.  

The reported behind-the-scenes feud between the trio of leading ladies at Countdown has set tongues wagging among fans.   

Tense: According to The Sun, Anne became fed up of listening to Rachel chatting to contestants ahead of going on air, turning up at the last minute and being on her phone too much

Tense: According to The Sun, Anne became fed up of listening to Rachel chatting to contestants ahead of going on air, turning up at the last minute and being on her phone too much

On Monday, fans flooded Twitter with speculation over the row, with social media users writing: ‘Doesn’t surprise me at all, with the stilted, awkward, toe-curlingness of the atmosphere… Not surprised there’s a personality clash’. 

Twitter users took a firm stance on news of the feud and also delighted in watching on as scenes played out in this week’s shows. 

Viewers wrote: ‘Be interesting to watch #countdown today, following this weekend’s news reports that Rachel Riley & Susie Dent don’t get on with Anne Robinson…   

‘Doesn’t surprise me at all, with the stilted, awkward, toe-curlingness of the atmosphere. AR has the personality of a lead brick…

‘Not surprised there’s a personality clash on countdown. Anne Robinson is dreadful – it’s all about her and not the contestants and the other presenters. She’s made it unwatchable @Channel4…

Not happy: On Monday, fans flooded Twitter with speculation over the row, with social media users writing: 'Doesn't surprise me at all!'

Not happy: On Monday, fans flooded Twitter with speculation over the row, with social media users writing: ‘Doesn’t surprise me at all!’

‘Countdown was my favourite programme but since that Anne Robinson came on board I’ve had to stop. She’s a bully, obnoxious and nasty. What were you thinking? #TeamRachelRiley… @RachelRileyRR

‘We all know Anne Robinson is a bully and a diva. Have stopped watching Countdown because she’s so obnoxious. Hope you can get rid of her. Go girl!’

Resident lexicographer Susie is said to have sided with Rachel in what is seen by some as a ‘young versus old’ divide.

An insider told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The tension between Rachel and Anne is being openly discussed. It is very much Rachel and Susie against Anne – a case of two camps. 

‘Lots of crew are discussing what is going on. Rachel and Susie don’t care much for Anne and her rather grand ways and things have become pretty uncomfortable.

‘Anne likes to do things her way, while Rachel doesn’t go along with how she operates. This has now led to little social interaction between them away from the cameras.’

Colleagues also claim Anne who presented her first show in June, ‘doesn’t mix with anyone’ and brings her own stylist and make-up artist to the studios.

Oxford graduate Susie who recently split from her husband of 20 years, Paul Atkins, is understood to be close friends with Rachel who went to the same university.

Anne has made no secret of her disdain for the young, woke brigade. Interviewed before she replaced Nick Hewer as host of the show, she said: ‘I am fed up with it… I just think we’re being told what to do by people who aren’t in a position to tell us what to do.’

Close: Oxford graduate Susie who recently split from her husband of 20 years, Paul Atkins, is understood to be close friends with Rachel who went to the same university

Close: Oxford graduate Susie who recently split from her husband of 20 years, Paul Atkins, is understood to be close friends with Rachel who went to the same university

Meanwhile, Rachel, who is pregnant with her second child with her partner, the former Strictly professional dancer Pasha Kovalev, has been targeted by hard-Left activists who have attacked her for campaigning against antisemitism in the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

Rachel said of the social-media trolls: ‘They were so abusive. I’ve developed a thick skin but now I never see a lot of things, even nice stuff, which is a shame because I used to use Twitter to help children with maths homework.’

Channel 4 declined to comment at the time. 

Famous face: Before joining Countdown Anne hosted The Weakest Link where she became known for her sharp tongue

Famous face: Before joining Countdown Anne hosted The Weakest Link where she became known for her sharp tongue 

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